Eco club in schools near sanctuary
Times of India By Himanshu Kaushik
Ahmedabad : The gen-next eco activists could be right in your home. Forest department officials are now roping in school students for conservation of sanctuaries like Nalsarovar, Thol and even Gir. The move comes in the wake of success tasted by the forest department after setting up an eco club for lion conservation near the Gir Sanctuary. The clubs are aimed at creating awareness about wildlife in and around their area.
Gujarat Ecological Education Reserch (GEER) had formed 300 eco-clubs of schoolchildren in surrounding 300 villages of the Gir National Park and Sanctuary(Junagadh, Amreli and Bhavnagar districts) for the conservation of Asiatic Lion. It also formed 300 eco-clubs under National Green Corps programme and Brihad Gir programme. The clubs are formed as a part of the NGC programme by the Union ministry of environment and forests.
Officials said these clubs in Gir not only bring the students closer to nature but, also to wild life. The 300-odd eco clubs around Gir not only acquainted the students to the Asiatic lion, but also got them a first-hand experience of being close to the big cats.
Recently, for the first time, these 300 clubs of Gir were taken to Gir and were shown Asiatic lions and their habitat. A quiz related to wildlife were also organized. Director of GEER, CN Pandey said that the eco-clubs in Gir were a big hit for the conservation of the lions as once these school kids are made aware of the lions, they become more vigilant and thus more conscious towards conservation.
GEER will now move a proposal to have these clubs around other sanctuaries in the state, which will further give a boost to preserve the wildlife in the entire state. GEER has so far formed 6500 odd clubs but, these were spread all over the state and not concentrated around the sanctuaries.
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